Cambodian residents defend U.S. charity
Cambodian residents in the town of Svay Pak insisted a U.S.-based charity that works against sex trafficking has helped their community after the prime minister accused the group of tarnishing the country’s image.
CNN broadcast a July 25 report on three girls rescued from sex trafficking by Agape International Missions (AIM), a U.S. ministry founded by Dan Brewster in 1988. The broadcast was a follow-up to a 2013 documentary CNN published on the nonprofit, non-governmental organization and the girls, whose mothers had sold them in Svay Pak.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen called the report “a serious insult against Cambodian women” and threatened to shut down the mission. Teang Chin, a laborer who moved to the town in 1982, told Cambodia Daily Svay Pak’s streets used to be teeming with sex for sale until AIM showed up in the mid-2000s. “The NGO played a very important role in shutting the prostitution down,” he said. The Christian nonprofit group focused on fighting child sex slavery in 2005 and says it has helped to rescue more than 700 people with the aid of local police. —O.O.